Desmond Howard reveals key to a Michigan upset of Ohio State in The Game

Dan Morrison11/23/22
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Michael Shroyer / Contributor PhotoG/Getty

College football analyst Desmond Howard won a Heisman Trophy while playing for Michigan. The rivalry with Ohio State is one he knows incredibly well. He also knows that Michigan will likely struggle if they can’t run the ball on the ground like they want to do.

The problem with that for Michigan is the health of Blake Corum, who is banged up coming into the Ohio State game.

“A lot of weight is on the decision of Blake Corum, the running back for Michigan who got hurt in the Illinois game,” Desmond Howard explained on Get Up. “If he’s able to go, if he’s able to play, then obviously that’s going to be a tremendous boost for Michigan because he’s such a huge part of that offense.”

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“We’re talking about a guy who, going into last week’s game against Illinois, was the Heisman front-runner. What he means to that offense, I don’t even know if you can measure it. I mean this guy has 256 touches on the season. The next closest player is Donovan Edwards, with 84 touches. So, you understand what Blake Corum means to this offense.”

The truth is that even if Blake Corum is able to play, he may not be entirely healthy. Desmond Howard knows this and explained that this will also be a factor.

“The big question is what percentage will he be if he’s playing. Is he at 90%? Is he at 75%? But he’s such a big part of the offense, Blake Corum’s ability or availability on Saturday afternoon is key for Michigan to win against Ohio State.”

Heather Dinich then asked if Corum isn’t able to go, can quarterback JJ McCarthy get the job done for Michigan? Desmond Howard seemed to think the answer is ‘no.’ That’s not how this team is designed.

“That’s a very good question. Keep in mind, it’s a one-two punch with Michigan that running attack, and that’s who they are. They’re not a passing offense. This isn’t CJ Stroud and Ohio State. Michigan is gonna line up and run the ball at you,” Desmond Howard said.

“So, I say it was a one-two punch because there’s also Donovan Edwards. Donovan Edwards is a guy who wasn’t available against Illinois when Blake got hurt but I think he’s gonna be available in Columbus. So, they’re still going to be who they are, Heather. They’re not going turn into some kind of passing offense because Blake’s not in the lineup.”

Ultimately, Desmond Howard said he thinks JJ McCarthy is a “very talented passer.” However, he thinks it will be McCarthy’s athleticism that is more important in the game.